Penn State Football Bowl Projections Mixed After Minnesota Loss
Penn State football’s projected bowl destination is much less clear after the team dropped a 31-26 decision to Minnesota on Saturday.
Most analysts had been projecting a Rose Bowl appearance for Penn State prior to its heartbreaking loss at TCF Bank Stadium. However, this week’s roundup of bowl projections range from the TaxSlayer Bowl to a third New Year’s Six bid in the past four seasons.
Two analysts — ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and Steve Deace of Sports Illustrated — still project Penn State to snag a New Year’s Six bowl with predictions of the Orange and Cotton Bowls, respectively. Bonagura has the Nittany Lions squaring off against Virginia in the Orange Bowl, while Deace anticipates a matchup against 12-1 Memphis in the Cotton Bowl.
Bill Bender of Sporting News predicts Penn State to take on Texas A&M in the TaxSlayer Bowl on January 2. Like many analysts, Bender had previously thought the Nittany Lions would take on on Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
It’s also important to note that Bleacher Report also no longer predicts a New Year’s Six appearance for Penn State. The outlet now forecasts Minnesota stealing the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl bid as the conference’s best non-Playoff team.
If the Nittany Lions want to guarantee a third New Year’s Six bowl appearance in four years, they’ll most likely have to run the table for the rest of season. This includes a win over No. 1 Ohio State, which is currently the clear favorite to win the Big Ten. However, finishing the year with a 10-2 record could also lead to Penn State sealing a spot in the New Year’s Six.
Most experts agree upon a 10-2 final record following a loss to Ohio State, but the bowl projections of what that type of record will get the Nittany Lions are clearly a toss-up.
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